Three architectural strategies for Micro Services APIs

A good house is built on a strong foundation. The same holds true for systems architecture. How you build your Micro Services determines what they turn into.

While there are many ways you can choose to build your Micro Services, all of them can broadly be divided into 3 categories.

Lean Strategy:

Lean strategy is a singular concept. It focuses on building an API to do one thing and to do it very well.

Here, all your resources are concentrated on this one feature with any external elements being pushed to the sidelines. Due to its highly focused nature this strategy makes it necessary that there be inflexible time, space and extension limitations on the API.

While, this approach may read counterproductive to flexibility it has proven to really push innovation because of very low run times. A perfect example is the Lego Brickset API.

If you know that in future your API will still be expected to perform the same functions without any expected expansion then Lean is the way to go.

Verbose Development:

This method is the complete opposite of Lean strategy. This is not to say that one goes ahead and creates a huge monolithic API. Instead, this method propagates creating for the future.

If your API is expected to expand and evolve in the future this is the method to be applied. Here, you start out creating an architecture that has features that are extremely flexible and useful.

Perfect examples are the Google API sets.

Two-Speed IT:

Two-Speed IT is a way of working towards a stable outcome while not losing sight of innovation.

Here, the developers usually work on two parallel tracks. A development track that exists for the stable, known technologies and a fast track that is dedicated to designing, testing, implementing and improving innovation.

This method gives us the best of both worlds. A case where on the one hand we have stable, verbose APIs for the long term and on the other experimental APIs for innovation.

A great example is the Sony Experia API.

Given that the cost and the time required for building your architecture are both dependent on the way you choose to build it a good long thought needs to be given to the method you adopt.

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Written By: Meghna Verma